Monday, December 21, 2009

Four Panels up!

21 Dec: Four panels up now. The curvature is because they are dry inside, so the front is expanding thermally, but not the back. It's lucky I have 8mm bolts holding them on in 14mm holes - so there is enough play for expansion. Also, the panels have compressible foam backing, and rubber washers on the front so there is further play for expansion. The bolts are not done up tightly - Nyloc bolts ensure that they are secure even if left with easy movement front to back.

Actually, I am glad they are loosely fitted, as I need to shift the far left one a centimetre to the right... this is possible. It is alarming how precise things have to be with metal and plastic. One is used to the easy tolerances of brick and timber, but metal and plastic need millimetre accuracy, like modelmaking. I had about an hour and a half re-plumbing something that I did too quickly the day before and the pipes were a centimetre too short when projecting from the wall.. it seems better to make things oversize.... (and cut back if too long).
As the technology here is a prototype, one has to be so careful and methodical. It is all modelled in ArchiCAD first - this has made it possible to make detailed cutting lists for the panels and metal sections. When the whole thing is complete, I will draw up a list of components and dimensions, so that it can be replicated.

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